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Full text of "Lake Minnetonka Survey 2 Report"

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Maritime 

ERITAGE 

Minnesota 

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nn Merriman 



Christopher Olson 

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Acknowledgments 

Maritime Heritage Minnesota (MHM) thanks the People of Minnesota for their support of 
the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant program, part of the Clean Water, 
Land and Legacy Amendment; without the MHCH Grant MHM received to conduct this 
survey, the work could not have been completed. MHM would also like to acknowledge 
the Grants Office Staff at the Minnesota Historical Society for their assistance and we 
thank Scott Anfinson and Bruce Koenen of the Office of the State Archaeologist for their 
input. The MHM staff spent many hours at the Minnesota Historical Society Library and 
we appreciate their helpful and knowledgeable staff. MHM digitized all of the MNHS 
images presented in this report, and those represented here are just a small portion of 
the actual number of photographs and prints pulled for our research. MHM thanks Dr. 
Natalie and Carol Rosen very much for the great lunch on the lake during the fieldwork. 
For anyone who wants to learn more about the boats that plied the waters of Lake 
Minnetonka, MHM suggests they acquire Scott McGinnis's book A Directory of Old 
Boats for a comprehensive look at the varied and interesting watercraft of the lake. 
Lastly, MHM thanks our Board of Trustees for their efforts and a special thanks goes to 
MHM Chair Michael F. Kramer for his substantial in-kind donation to this project. 

Cover: Steamboat Puritan, probably heading toward the Narrows from the Lower Lake's Lafayette Bay into the Upper 
Lake's Old Channel Bay (Ellis 1905, cover). 




ffjCLEAN 

S WATER 
LAND & 
LEGACY 
AMENDMENT 




MINNESOTA HISTORICAL & 
CULTURAL HERITAGE GRANTS 



©2012 
Ann Merriman, Christopher Olson, and Maritime Heritage Minnesota 



MHM IS A 501.(c).3 NON-PROFIT CORPORATION DEDICATED TO THE DOCUMENTATION, CONSERVATION, 
AND PRESERVATION OF MINNESOTA'S FINITE MARITIME CULTURAL RESOURCES 



Introduction 

Maritime Heritage Minnesota (MHM) conducted side and down-imaging sonar surveys 
of Lower Lake Minnetonka and the Upper Lake's Crystal Bay in September and 
November 2011. In May 2012, MHM surveyed the remaining portions of Upper Lake 
Minnetonka, a project made possible by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy 
Amendment in the form of a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant. With the 
completion of the Lake Minnetonka Survey 2 (LMS-2) Project, Lake Minnetonka is the 
only body of water within the borders of Minnesota to have been completely surveyed 
for submerged archaeological resources. Prior to this survey, nine wrecks have been 
identified as nautical archaeological sites in Lower Lake Minnetonka and the steamboat 
pier, amusement park, and veteran's camp remains on Big Island were also recognized 
as an archaeological site. This report presents the findings of the Upper Lake 
Minnetonka survey and includes a brief history of this lesser-studied part of the lake. For 
a more detailed outline of the history of the Lower Lake Minnetonka, it's boat-builders, 
transportation routes, shipwrecks, and potential underwater and nautical archaeological 
sites, please see MHM's Lake Minnetonka Survey 1 Report. 

NOTE: The names of many boats on Lake Minnetonka underwent changes over time. A 
name change will look like this: Governor Ramsey/Excelsior/Lady of the 
Lake/Mi nnetonka/Mermaid or George/Excelsior. 



Upper Lake Minnetonka 

Like the Lower Lake, Upper Lake Minnetonka is comprised of a series of bays, some 
connected by narrow channels or other bays. Unlike the Lower Lake, the Upper Lake 
has less large open areas of water as attested by a greater number of islands and its 
bays are generally smaller. By the mid-1870s, Upper Lake Minnetonka was being 
touted as a natural wonder, with an abundance of wildlife, islands, and a number of 
boarding houses from which to enjoy fishing and boating. It was described as being 
"nowise inferior to the lower part, but, on the contrary, in natural beauty and variety of 
wild scenery, much superior". In the West Upper Lake, Crane Island was described as 
being "held sacred by the residents in its vicinity, from the fact of its being the summer 
abode of a colony of blue heron. ..[and] there is a penalty attached to shooting these 
Upper Lake pets". Eagle Island, likewise, was named for a pair of eagles spotted there 
early on, a rare site on Lake Minnetonka. Wawatasso Island, once called Dunlap's 
Island and Fire-fly Island - or 'Little Firefly' in Dakota - is now a large Hennepin County 
Park and was home to a Minneapolis Boy Scout camp in the 1920s and 1930s. Phelps 
Island is the largest island in Lake Minnetonka and was claimed by Carrington Phelps. 
Enchanted Island was originally purchased by St. Paul photographer Charles 
Zimmerman and is now connected to Phelps Island by a bridge over Zimmerman's 
Pass. Also connected to Enchanted Island, Rockwell's Island was developed by Captain 
Rockwell of the steamer May Queen and became known as Shady Isle and now Shady 
Island. Rockwell constructed a hotel on his island in 1879. Close-by are Spray Island, 
further north Goose Island (once known as 'Wild Goose Island'), and Pelican Island, 
part of Pelican Point as late as 1890. In the West Arm, Deering Island was the home 
base for the steamer Florence M. Dearing, owned by Charles W. Dearing in the 1880s 
(Brackett 1976, 46-47; Lake Minnetonka Tourist 1876; Northwestern Tourist 1890, 
Tourist and Sportsman 1877a, 1879, 1881). Smaller, unnamed islands also exist in 
Priests Bay and Stubbs Bay, connected to shore by sandbars in shallow water. 



A map of Upper and Lower 

Lake Minnetonka produced by 

the Great Northern Railroad 

about 1905 (Ellis 1905, 19). 




Great ^okthkrk 
Railway. 




"^rfci 



I inncw 



Upper Lake Minnetonka is outlined in blue (Ellis 1905, 19). 



Crane Island around 1905 (MH5.1Lp1, 
by Sweet, Minnesota Historical Society). 



A sailboat and steamer at Enchanted 

Island around 1895 (Tourist and 

Sportsman 1895). 




_-- - ■-- :- --*-- . . .^-~nz 

._.._-.;.-- - : - ---.I-" , 

-- =-• ---- - - 



Captain Rockwell's steamer /Way Queen 

about 1875 (HE5.11Mr21, Minnesota 

Historical Society). 




The Streetcar Boat White Bear picking 

up passengers at Shady Island between 

1906 and 1910 (Maritme Heritage 

Minnesota Collection). 




It must be mentioned here that the Upper Lake is connected to the Lower Lake's 
Lafayette Bay by the Narrows Channel and the connection between Smith and Crystal 
Bays under the Areola Bridge. Originally the Narrows was called 'Hull's Narrows', a 
marshy shallow 40-acre area of wild rice that served as an adequate passage for small 
boats and shallow-draft steamers. In 1877 the Narrows was described as a "narrow 
channel through a marsh forming the connecting link between Upper and Lower Lakes. 
It was, in early times, a passage for rowboats, but the advent of steamers required its 
dredging and widening, and it is now a good sized canal". This 'good sized canal' was 
not adequate for long, however, and the 'New Narrows' channel was dug just northwest 
of Hull's Narrows in 1884. By 1888 a road was constructed (current County Road 19) 
between the Upper and Lower Lakes and as a consequence, a ferry boat to bridge the 
gap between Minnetonka Lake Park (now Tonka Bay) and what is now Navarre on the 
way to Minnetonka Beach and Spring Park was needed. The ferry, a wooden flat boat, 
was constructed by Moses Bickford at the Excelsior Commons and measured 25 feet 
long with an 18-foot beam (McGinnis 2010, 72; Northwestern Tourist 1888; Tourist and 
Sportsman 1877a). 

The Hulls Narrows or the 'Old' Narrows 

Channel around 1880 

(MH5.1Lr15, by Jacoby, Minnesota 

Historical Society). 




A map showing the location of Hulls Narrows or 

the 'Old' Narrows Channel and the location of the 

'New' Narrows Channel to the northwest 

(Minnetonka Record 1888). 




The steamer Hattie May, passing a dredge boat and a rowboat in the New Narrows Channel heading from the 
Lower Lake to the Upper around 1886. The Hotel Lafayette can be seen in the background (Photograph Album 

219, Minnesota Historical Society 





The steamer City of St. Louis heading toward the New Narrows around 1885 (MH5.1Lr16, by Jacoby, Minnesota 

Historical Society). 



In 1874, Captain Rockwell's propeller May Queen was one of the first steamers to 
regularly connect the Upper Lake with Excelsior and Wayzata in the Lower Lake. In 
1876 the propeller steamer Mary, owned, and mastered by Captain Frank W. Halsted, 
joined May Queen in this trade. Captain Halsted was a US Navy veteran of the 
American Civil War. In the summer of 1861, Halsted served on the flagship of the North 
Atlantic Blockading Squadron, USS Minnesota, under Flag Officer Silas Horton Stringer. 
As an Acting Ensign between May 1864 and May 1865, Halsted was in command of the 
2-gun USS General Pillow in the Mississippi Squadron under Rear Admiral David D. 
Porter. The General Pillow was assigned as an ordnance guard boat at Cairo and 
Mound City, IL, during the time Halsted commanded her. After the Civil War, Captain 
Halsted lived in the well-known 'Hermitage', constructed by him in 1869, situated 
opposite Crane Island between Halsted Bay and the West Upper Lake. Halsted was the 
local Justice of the Peace and a well-known character around Lake Minnetonka (Fitch 
1864, 554; Lake Minnetonka Tourist 1876; Lee 1864a, 731, 1864b, 749, 1865a, 79, 
1865b, 145, 1865c, 175; Mowry 1884, 26-27; Porter 1864, 319). 



This newspaper ad for the Excelsior 

House hotel in the Lower Lake showing 

the steamer May Queen and a sailboat 

on the lake. This image is an indicater of 

Upper and Lower Lake transportation 

since May Queen originated in the 

Upper Lake (Lake Minnetonka Tourist 

1876). 




Captain Frank W. Halsted's steamer 

Mary in 1879 (Reserve Album 1 1 1 #7, 

Minnesota Historical Society). 




A portrait of Captain Frank W. Halsted 

and his home, Hermitage (Ellis 1905, 

37). 




An ad for the steamer Mary, working in 

the Lower Lake but she provided 

connecting service for Upper Lake 

steamers in 1877 (Tourist and 

Sportsman 1877b). 




THE STAUNCH PROPELLER 



MARY 



Hake* regular daily trips from Way- 
sata to jGxoelsior, connecting with 
trains on the St. Paul A Pacific R. B. 
at Waysata, and landing passengers 
at any paint on 'Lower Lake Hinne- 
tonxa. Connect* at Excelsior irith 
steamers for 

THE UPPER LAKE. 
Special ratal given for pio-niel and 
•xouxaion parties. Good barges fur- 
niihed. 



By 1875, 'Mound City' was established on Upper Lake's Cooks Bay and was described 
as "a new village, with a store, post office, blacksmith shop and hotel. ..and a number of 
residences have also been built there. The purchase of cord wood and stave bolts is the 
principal feature of trade. ..[and] a saw mill was put in operation there during the past 
winter." The aforementioned hotel was the Lake View House, established by Mathias 
Cook as 'Cook's House' in 1854, being enlarged and renamed in 1867. Chapman 
House opened in July 1876 and was described as a "new and commodious hotel. ..to 
rival in size and elegance any house on the lake". These boarding houses boasted large 
grounds of shade trees, croquet, fleets of rowboats for fishing and sailboats for fun, ice 
houses for the 'daily catch', daily steamboat visits from Excelsior and Wayzata on the 
Lower Lake so patrons could enjoy several hours of lake excursions. Local boat- 
builders R. R. Cummings and E. K. Weeks constructed the rowboat fleets in Mound City 
(Lake Minnetonka Tourist 1876; Meyer 1997, 61-62; Mowry 1884, 40; Tourist and 
Sportsman 1877a). 



10 



Newspaper ads for Cook's Lake View 
House and Chapman House on Cooks 

Bay in Mound City list a variety of 

activities and amenities for Upper Lake 

Minnetonka visitors (Lake Minnetonka 

Tourist 1876). 



COOK'S LAKE VIEW HOUSE, 

UPPER LAKE MINNETONKA. 

This well known Upper Lake rural resort is now ready, for guests. Large additions have 
been made to the house, which mokes it one of the finest on the lake. Handsomely located, 
offering extensive views of what is considered the most beautiful portion of Lake Minnetonka. 
Grounds neat, covered with shade and fruit trees, and the boat landing is within a few-yards 
of the house, where boats and tackle are always ready for use. Famous fishing grounds in 
immediate vicinity. Steamers will make regular trips from Wayzata, via Excelsior, passing on 
the route all the points of interest in the Upper and Lower Lakes, and remain at this point 
about four hours, returning in time for evening trains. Fare for round trip, including dinner, 
$2.00. Accommodations for regular or transient boarders, and especial carefor invalids. 

Send for terms by mail. . . M...S. COOK, Proprietor. 

CHAPMAN HOUSE, 

MOUND CITY, UPPER LAKE MINNETONKA. 

This elegant hotel, now in cofyse of erection, will.be completed and ready for opening to 
the public about the 4th of July, with new equipments throughout, and it will be managed in 
first class style. The rooms are large, well ventilated, and the house commands a magnificent 
view ot the lake. The grounds are beautiful, covered with a fine growth of forest trees, and 
will be furnished with swings, croquet, and other popular games. The steamers make same 
connections as with other Upper Lake points, and boats and tackle .can be had at the landing. 
Every care taken for pleasure and comfort of guests. 

' CHAPMAN BROTHERS, PROPRIETORS. 



Sidewheel steamer Belle of Minnetonka 

at Chapman House about 1885 

(HE5.13p11, by Jacoby, Minnesota 

Historical Society). 











igp •'m""«i«rc'RBS' 




H^^™ . ' »j. «. 



The Chapman House boathouse and 

dock, along with its fleet of rowboats 

around 1885 (MH5.9MDr10, by Jacoby, 

Minnesota Historical Society). 



Swimmers among the rowboats in front 

of Chapman House around 1900. Note 

the large gasoline launch with the 

torpedo stern in the left of the 

photograph (GV3.61p7, Minnesota 

Historical Society). 




11 



Rowboats and small steamers at the 
Chapman House dock and landing 

around 1905 (HE5.13p68, by 

Zimmerman, Minnesota Hisotrical 

Society). 




In 1880 Spring Park was established on part of the land claimed by John Carman and 
was the location of the 'Bon Ami Club', founded by a group of St. Paulites. The club 
accommodated camping, croquet, sailing, rowing, picnics, was an excursion stop for 
steamboats, and supported several summer cottages. Into the 1880s and through the 
early 1900s, many hotels and boarding houses were scattered around the various 
Upper Lake islands and bays, including the Palmer House at Zumbra Heights, Pleasant 
View on Howard's Point, the Upper Lake House/Edgewood House on the south shore of 
the East Upper Lake, Hotel Harrow/Shady Isle House on Shady Isle, the Maple Heights 
Inn/Woolnough's Inn on Phelps Island, and the Hotel Del Otero in Spring Park. In 
Mound City itself, the Bartlett House, Mound City House, Dewey House, the Buena 
Vista Hotel, the Switzerland Hotel, and Sunset View Hotel greeted visitors to the lake. 
Advertisements for these Upper Lake establishments all stressed the fact that they were 
on the steamboat routes and boat owners published their schedules to the boarding 
houses and hotels as well (Meyer 1997, 64-73, 100; Northwestern Tourist 1883b; 
Tourist and Sportsman 1 881 ). 




Beyond the large steamboats, many small steamers operated on Upper Lake Minnetonka from the 1880s onward. 
On the far side of the dock at Spring Park, probably in 1 894, are (L to R) the Acte, Alert, West Point, and Helena, 
and on the near side of the dock are the Twin City, Ralph, and Mabel Lane. Note the coal bunker on the shoreline 

(HE5.11Tr9, Minnesota Historical Society). 



12 



Spring Park around 1910. Hotel Del 

Otero is across the street to the right 

among the trees (MH5.9SPp5, 

Minnesota Historical Society). 



Mr. E. F. Pabody's landing at Zumbra 

Heights in 1895, witha small launch in 

the background and rowboats in the 

foreground, the Pabody land was 80 

acres in size and had a vineyard (Tourist 

and Sportsman 1895) 




Mr. Sampson advertised the amenities and cool, 

shady nature of the Upper Lake House in 1883 

(Northwestern Tourist 1883a). 



Upper Lake House. 

Situated at Sampson's Upper Lake Park, on tine 
South side of the Upper Lake, 2% miles from 
Efcelsior village, by pleasant road, and being in 
direct route of all steamers (to head of Lake), any 
of which Will land passengers, or call for them 
to connect with early or late trains daily, will be 
opened for boarders June 1st, y?e need not say 
to all former patrons^ for they already know that 
it is one of the coolest and most delightful places 
on the entire lake, as there is plenty of shade, 
and no glare from reflection of sun. Complete 
satisfaction guaranteed. _ 

Board, $8.00 to $10.00 per week. $1.50 per day. 

Single meal, '.SO cents. Superior tenting grounds, 

and tents furnished with board, at red need rates. 

W. A. SAMPSON, 
_l-t Proprietor. 



13 



An ad for the Shady Isle House in 1889 
(Minnetonka Record 1889). 



THE SHADY ISLE HOUSE, 

* .:»"■■. *' ' , 

SHADY ISLE, UPPER LAKE MINNETONKA. 

- ■''■''. 

Open for the season. Shiuj Isle House affords pleasant quarters for mmmet boarders at reasonable 
rates. Jt la the great fishing resort of Minnetonka 

A NEAT EIGHT BOOM COTTAGE FOR RENT. 

Post office address, MRS. S. J. WALL Y. EXCELSIOR. MINK. 



Woolnough's Maple Heights Inn 

(Maritime Heritage Minnesota 

Collection). 




Hotel Del Otero seen from a steamboat. 

Note the steamer's pennant in the 

foreground (Maritime Heritage 

Minnesota Collection). 



e-&s>- 



"Tr^^/7 >v^ 



^o^- 



M^^JZ 



'A 



- ><2-i2J> $ 



3J ^TT^U, y^<^. '^^^J§. \ f^l 




An ad for Mound City House (Tourist and Sportsman 
1881). 



M 



OUNDCITY HOUSE, 

Uppeb Lass IIlvketonka Minn. 

Will be opened June 15th, and will accommodate 
about 25 boarders. The bouse Is handsomly lo- 
cated in the grove between Minnetonke and Lake 
Landon, overlooking both places, and is within 
a few rods of the Chapman House steamer land- 
ing. It h»B all the advantages of the lake pos- 
sessed by any hotel. 

Building lots for summer cottages for sale, at 
reasonable prices. Plat may be seen it house. 
Address BEYMOUH A. CHAPMAN, 
Mound City, Minn. 



14 



In the Upper and Lower Lake in 1881, the Lake Minnetonka Navigation Company 
operated four steamboats, the sternwheeler Hattie May and the propellers City of 
Minneapolis, Nautilus, and Lotus, to accommodate summer resort and lake residents. 
The large new sidewheeler City of St. Louis and the smaller propellers Saucy Kate and 
Mercury operated on both sections of the lake as well. In 1882, the largest steamer to 
work on Lake Minnetonka - the sidewheeler Belle of Minnetonka - was launched and 
provided service on the Upper and Lower Lakes as well. The 1883 fleet was comprised 
of he Belle of Minnetonka, City of St. Louis, Hattie May, Lotus, Saucy Kate, and Star 
(the former Mary mentioned above). A detailed 1883 schedule for these steamboats 
indicated the Belle of Minnetonka, Saucy Kate, Lotus, and City of St. Louis regularly 
traveled between the Upper and Lower Lakes on a timetable. The number of steamboat 
excursionists that year totaled more than 90,000 people between 1 June and 1 October 
for both the Upper and Lower Lakes. A cottage industry also sprang up in Mound City 
with the 'Lake Minnetonka Supply Boat' operated by T. B. Carman. The boat made 
"regular trips around the lake to supply groceries, vegetables, canned goods, and about 
everything wished for, to camps, cottages and hotels". Mr. Carman made it easy for 
tourists and weekenders to use his services because orders for the supply boat could 
be left in Wayzata, Mound City, or by flagging down the boat herself. A. Thompson ran 
a similar supply boat service out of Excelsior {Lake Minnetonka Tourist 1876; McGinnis 
2010, 15; Mowry 1884, 7; Northwestern Tourist 1883a, 1883b; Tourist and Sportsman 
1881). 



Sternwheeler Hattie /Way 
{Northwestern Tourist 1 886). 




15 



Propeller Lotus in 1881 (Reserve Album 
111 #11, Minnesota Historical Society). 



Large sidewheeler steamer City of St. 
Louis (Tourist and Sportsman 1 881 ). 




Above: A stereoview of the Saucy Kate about 1889 (HE5.13r64, Minnesota 

Historical Society). 
Right: An ad for Saucy Kate's services in 1885 (Tourist and Sportsman 

1881). 



The Lake Miiuwtonka 

PROPELLER SAUCY KATE, 

... It. F. SAXPS01T, Proprietor. 



Will mike trip* to meet regular trains 
at Waynta/and make the ran to Ex- 
leelfltoT, Upper Lake, and all interrae- 
ildiate point* dally. The boiler of the 
Baucy Kate haa been inspected and 
pronounoed safe by the State Board of 
[/inspection, and erery measure frill be 
f taken for the comfort and safety of 
passengers. The boat has been hand- 
somely fitted up, and Is now neater 
and pleaaanter than erer before. 
Commutation tickets at liberal rates. 
WIU charter for excursions. 
Passengers desiring to travel on the 
Sauoy Kate, should buy their round- 
trip tickets to Way wta. 



16 



The largest steamer on Lake 

Minnetonka, Se//e of Minnetonka, 

approaching the shoreline about 1885 

(HE5.13p11, by Jacoby, Minnesota 

Historical Society). 





LAKE MINNETONKA 

Iropeller Star, 

R. L. McKENZIE, Master. 



Makes Regular Daily Trips to Upper Lake. 



Special Attention to Excursion Parties. 



Hot Coffee and Tea. by the Cup, Quart or Gallon. Sand- 
wiches, Confectionery, Fruit, Cigars, etc.. for sale 
at the Lunch Counter. 



Special Rates to Large Excursions. Capacity for 200 Passengers- 






R.L. McKENZIE, Excelsior, 



The propeller steamer Star, formerly Mary, worked on both Upper and Lower Lake Minnetonka (Northwestern 
Tourist 1886). Her service was advertised in 1884 (Mowry 1884, 41). 



The Lake Minnetonka Supply Boat was 

operated by T. B. Carman in 1883 

(Northwestern Tourist 1 883a). 



-w— "™ f"*~»^S»" 



Makes regular tnips around the lake to supply. 

gaoceriee, vegetables, canned goods, and about 

everything wished for, to camps, cottages and 

hotels- 
New camps can leave word for cails with Bnsh- 

nellBrofli. Wayzata, Ft M. Carman, Mound City 

- store, o r-fla g the boat. — — — 

4-8t ; ':-■'■ f T. B. CABMAN, Proprietor 



Beginning in 1906, the Twin City Rapid Transit Company's (TCRT) Streetcar Boats 
provided public transportation around both the Lower and Upper Lake. These boats 
were the Como, Harriet, Hopkins, Minnehaha, Stillwater, White Bear, and by 1915, the 
Excelsior. Initially, all the Streetcar Boat routes originated in Excelsior, the western 
terminus of the electric streetcar line at that time. The 'Upper Lake Division' consisted of 



17 



the 'Zumbra Heights Express' and 'Spring Park Express' lines. By 1907, the Streetcar 
Boats connected at Wayzata with the Great Northern Railway and in 1908, the streetcar 
line established stops at Deephaven on Carsons Bay and at Wildhurst between the 
Lower Lake's Gideon Bay and the East Upper Lake, and Tonka Bay, where the 
streetcar line terminated. Throughout the working history of the Streetcar Boats, the 
Upper Lake routes and service stops varied during any given season and year-by-year, 
depending on business and necessity, and stopped at public and private docks. Over 
the years, the Upper Lake scheduled stops included the Narrows, Casco Point, Isle 
View, Spring Park, Maple Heights Inn/Woolnough's, Pembroke (on Phelp's Island), 
Wildhurst, Birch Bluff, Edgewood, Shady Isle, Enchanted Island, Woodside, Zumbra 
Heights, Crane Island, and Mound (Olson 1976, 207-212). 




The Streetcar Boat Como at a Zumbra Heights stop in the Upper Lake (Maritime Heritage Minnesota Collection). 



In 1911 the Narrows Bridge, a steel span with concrete abutments built by the 
Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company, was designed to rise 25 feet above the 
channel. This height was not sufficient to accommodate Class A and B yachts, vessels 
that carried 32-foot masts, and members of the Minnetonka Yacht Club objected to this 
restriction to the Board of County Commissioners. It was underscored that "it is 
customary, in building a bridge, to provide for the passage of all ordinary navigation. 
Neither of the three ferry boats [Minneapolis, Minnetonka, St. Paul] nor the Puritan 
could go under the proposed bridge, to say nothing of dredges, pile drivers, or larger 
sail boats." After much discussion that included re-opening the Old Narrows channel 
and installing a draw bridge there - an idea not favored by yachtsmen due to poor wind 
at the old channel - no design changes were made to the new bridge because of the 
expense involved and certain vessels became trapped either in the Upper Lake or the 
Lower Lake (Minnetonka Record 1 91 1a-191 1c). However, in the case of some 
sailboats, they could de-mast and go under the Narrows Bridge when necessary. 



Tall-masted sailboats using the New 

Narrows around 1896 (MH5.1Lp17, 

Minnesota Historical Society). 



A Streetcar Boat steaming through the 
Narrows under the new steel and 

concrete bridge, 191 1 or later (Maritime 
Heritage Minnesota Collection). 




The era of seasonal hotels and resorts on the Upper Lake started to dwindle in the early 
1900s, with both the Chapman House and Lake View House gone by 1912, the Mound 
City Hotel by 1924, and the Buena Vista Hotel by 1926. The large and popular Hotel Del 
Otero lasted 60 years, burning down in early July 1945, and the Maple Heights Inn 
survived until 1964 - the last summer hotel or resort on the Upper Lake (Meyer 1997, 
56, 64, 66, 68, 73). Throughout the first part of the 20 th Century, the Upper Lake 
witnessed private dwellings filling up the large expanses of land vacated by the hotels 
and resorts, changing the character of the lake itself. No longer needed were the 
excursion steamboats for lake sightseeing, or Mr. Carman's supply boat, or the 
Streetcar Boats, and private pleasure steam and gasoline launches were replaced by 
fast runabouts and speed boats. 



Carrington Phelps's island was broken up and offered for sale in 
the early 1 900s (Ellis 1 905, 99). 



north Shore Park 

Pbclps Island. 

Cbc 6cm of Cake ttiinnetonka. 



Five hundred and fifty acres of finely wooded land covered with 
fine young trees, having Ave miles of shore line. This land 
nasal! been cleaned and brushed out. Roads have been cut 
and a line of boats will lake you to any dock, The shores are 
mostly sandy, parts of this land lies line hundred feel above the 
lake level. Two bridges connect North Shore Park with the 
main land. Truly a picturesque and beautiful place to locate a 
summer home. Platted into lots of one-half to ten acre tracts. 
For Maps, Information and prices, call on 



THORPE, BROS., 



EXCLUSIVE, AGENTS. 



206 Andrus Bids. 



Minneapolis. Min 



19 



Nautical and Maritime Archaeological Sites in Lake Minnetonka 

Prior to the beginning of the LMS-2 Project, there were nine known wrecks in Lake 
Minnetonka and acknowledged by the Minnesota's Office of the State Archaeologist - 
Como (21-HE0397), George/Excelsior (21-HE0399), Hercules (21-HE0398), 
Hopkins/Minnetonka (21-HE0396), Minneapolis (21-HE0403), White Bear (21 -HE0281), 
the Wayzata Bay Wreck (21-HE0401), the St. Albans Bay Wreck (21-HE0400), and 
Wreck 1 (21-HE0404). During the LMS-1 Project, MHM completed the required 
paperwork to have the wrecks listed above - with the exception of White Bear - 
recognized as nautical archaeological sites in addition to the Big Island Steamboat Pier, 
Park, and Veteran's Camp (21-HE0402) site. The Wayzata Bay Wreck, St. Albans Bay 
Wreck, and Wreck 1 were first recognized by MHM during the LMS-1 Project. MHM is 
confident that several more anomalies recorded during the LMS-1 Project are wrecks as 
well, but without diving on them to gather more information, the ages of these wrecks 
are at present undetermined and remain 'anomalies'. It must be acknowledged that 
Minnesota's submerged archaeological sites - wrecks as well as artifacts - are 
protected by the Minnesota Field Archaeology Act of 1963. Minnesota recognized early 
on that the protection of our shipwrecks and submerged cultural resources are 
important to our shared history. Beyond this, all of Minnesota's wrecks also fall under 
Federal protection under the Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987. 

LMS-2 Project Survey Methodology 

Maritime Heritage Minnesota's LMS-2 Project is the second part of the third systematic 
side and down imaging sonar survey of a body of water in Minnesota; the first was the 
Mississippi River Aitkin County Survey (MRACS) in 2010 and the Minnesota River 
Survey 1 (MRS-1) in 2011, both conducted by MHM. The State Historic Preservation 
Office (SHPO) sponsored a targeted sonar survey of a section of Lower Lake 
Minnetonka in 1996 to produce sonar images of the six wrecks that were known at the 
time - Como, George/Excelsior, Hercules, Hopkins/Minnetonka, and White Bear located 
north of Big Island, and the Minneapolis, east of Sunrise Point. These researchers also 
conducted two reconnaissance dives on the White Bear to record her basic 
measurements (Hall, Birk, and Newell 1997, 53-62). The fieldwork portion of the LMS-2 
Project was designed to be completed in May 2012. 

MHM began the LMS-2 Project on 4 May 2012, first surveying the Upper Lake's North 
Arm, 'mowing the lawn' in the survey boat in parallel transects spaced 500 feet apart, 
with the sonar's transducer sending out acoustical waves 250 feet on each side of the 
boat. MHM then surveyed Halsted Bay, Cooks Bay, Priests Bay, the northern section of 
the West Upper Lake, Harrison Bay, a portion of the West Arm, Stubbs Bay, Maxwell 
Bay, the rest of the West Arm, Jennings Bay, the southern portion of the West Upper 
Lake, Phelps Bay, Spring Park Bay, the South Upper Lake, Smithtown Bay, Carman 
Bay, and Old Channel Bay. MHM completed the survey on 16 May 2012, with two 
additional trips onto the lake to review some interesting anomalies on 25 May and 4 
June. Throughout the survey, MHM relied upon the GPS maps linked into the sonar unit 
for water depth and navigation, as well as the extensive navigation buoy system put in 
place by Hennepin County. 



20 



Lake 
Minnetonka 

Tn'l- ■<■ 'i l 




MHM's survey map indicating the different sections of the Upper Lake surveyed in May 2012. MHM intended to 
survey the different colored areas together but adjustments were made due to wind conditions. 




- S —~ «n **>!»,, -,.. . ■ , ~^-PE 



^-"* > 



----- 




MHM's survey boat at the North Arm launch on the first day of the survey. 



21 



North Arm and the launch ramp. The 

lake water level was down nearly 3 feet 

during the survey. 



MHM's Christopher Olson operating the 
boat and its 7.5 hp motor. 




MHM's Ann Merriman watching the sonar screen, looking for 

anomalies, recording data on a memory card, and noting 

anomalies in the notebook. The white mast is holding the sonar 

unti's GPS receiver. 




22 



The Halsted Bay launch. 




Cooks Bay and launch in Mound. 




Maxwell Bay and launch. 




23 



On the West Arm looking east. 



An early morning on the West Upper 

Lake, traveling toward Crane Island and 

Wawataso Island. 




24 



The LMS-2 Project Sonar Anomalies 

Maritime Heritage Minnesota noted 165 anomalies during the LMS-2 Project. Of these, 
54 appear to be human-made objects that may warrant further investigation. MHM is 
confident that two of these anomalies are wrecks, but the ages of these sunken vessels 
cannot be determined and they remain 'anomalies' and not archaeological sites - for 
the time being. MHM is considering another 9 anomalies as 'probable wrecks' upon 
close examination of their sonar signatures, and 24 other anomalies are possible 
wrecks. Lastly, 19 recorded anomalies may be human-made objects and MHM can 
hypothesize about their nature, but without further investigations, they are unidentifiable. 
MHM will prioritize and investigate these anomalies by SCUBA in the near future if all 
goes as planned. A note must be made here about the numbering of the LMS-2 Project 
anomalies; MHM continued the numbering system that was used for the LMS-1 Project, 
a series that ended with 75. Therefore, the 54 anomalies shown below are numbered 
76-129. 

Spring Park Bay Wreck 

Anomaly 91, the Spring Park Bay Wreck, is probably a runabout that could be a Chris- 
Craft, Hacker-Craft, or even a locally-built Ramaley fast speedboat. MHM cannot 
designate this wreck as a nautical archaeological site without further underwater 
investigations to determine her probable age. If she sank at least 50 years ago, MHM 
will complete a Minnesota archaeological site form that will giver her a site number and 
recognize her as a protected nautical archaeological site. The probability of this wreck 
being old enough to qualify as a site is good, since runabouts and motorized speed 
boats were developed in the 1920s. If it appears that this wreck is not old enough to 
qualify as an archaeological site, MHM will determine the date at which this will be 
possible and fill out the proper paperwork in the future. 



Anomaly 91 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Spring Park Bay 
Wreck 

Size: Approximately 15 feet long 

Location: Spring Park Bay 

Analysis: This wreck appears to be 
a motorized runabout whose age 
cannot be determined without diving 
and therefore cannot be designated 
an archaeological site at this time; it 
is presumed the stern is to the left; 
the square objects next to the wreck 
may be related debris 



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A Chris-Craft inboard motor boat about . 

1959. This boat is larger than the Spring 

Park Bay Wreck but the designs may be 

similar (GH3.61 Pm1 , by Keagle, 

Minnesota Historical Society). 











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However, another hypothesis may be valid in considering Anomaly 91 and her possible 
identification. In August 1912, Harry M. Rubey's 46-foot gasoline launch Elizabeth 
caught fire, "burned to the water's edge, then broke in two and sank" in Spring Park 
Bay. MHM suggests that this wreck may be part of the Elizabeth due to the appearance 
of other sonar images produced during the LMS-2 Survey. The differences in sonar 
images can be accounted for by different boat speeds, transect directions, and beam 
lengths. It has been suggested by McGinnis that Elizabeth is the same vessel as the 
naphtha launch Florence, constructed by Moore Boat Works of Wayzata in 1899-1900, 
and owned by Rubey and his brother-in-law Thomas E. Wardell. MHM believes 
McGinnis's argument has merit (McGinnis 2010, 63-64, 78-79; Minnetonka Record 
1912). 



Anomaly 91 

Recorded: 6/4/2012 

Analysis: In this sonar image of the 
wreck, what is the presumed stern 
does not look as defined as the 
image above and may indicate a 
breaking point for the Elizabeth; as 
the differences in these two images 
indicates, diving on these wrecks is 
the only method to answer certain 
archaeological questions 




West Arm Pontoon Boat Wreck 



The acoustical signature of Anomaly 83, the West Arm Pontoon Boat Wreck, could not 
be more clear - it is comprised of two pontoons sitting off the bottom of the lake and it 
appears that the pontoons are still attached to the boat deck underneath them. As with 
the probable runabout, the age of this pontoon boat wreck cannot be determined and 
therefore cannot be designated as a nautical archaeological site. Moreover, it is doubtful 
that this wreck is old enough to qualifty as an archaeological site since the pontoon boat 
is a somewhat recent maritime development. Ambrose Weeres of Richmond, MN, 
experimented with "steel barrels, welded together end to end" that supported a flat 
plaform boat deck and produced "The Empress" in 1952. Mr. Weeres sold several of 



26 



these pontoon boats around Richmond and with their success, Weeres Pontoons was 
founded and is still in business (Weeres Pontoons 2012). However, if this pontoon 
wreck is determined to have been on the bottom of the lake for 50 years, she would 
have been constructed within the first 10 or 11 years of pontoon boat construction and 
therefore probably one of the oldest pontoons boats in existence - and she may even 
be a Weeres Pontoon. 



Anomaly 83 

Recorded: 5/10/2012 

Identification: West Arm Pontoon 
Boat Wreck 

Size: Approximately 32 feet long 

Location: West Arm 

Analysis: This anomaly is probably 
an overturned pontoon boat 




The Remaining Anomalies 



Anomaly 76 

Recorded: 5/10/2012 

Identification: Irregularly-shaped 
feature 

Size: Approximately 1 1 feet long 

Location: Stubbs Bay 

Analysis: Unknown 




27 



Anomaly 77 

Recorded: 5/4/2012 

Identification: V-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 13 feet long 

Location: North Arm 

Analysis: This anomaly resembles 
the bow of a boat 




Anomaly 78 

Recorded: 5/4/2012 

Identification: Irregularly-shaped 
feature 

Size: Unknown 

Location: North Arm 

Analysis: Unknown 




Anomaly 79 

Recorded: 5/12/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 12 feet long 

Location: West Arm 

Analysis: This anomaly is 
suggestive of a small boat 




28 



Anomaly 80 

Recorded: 5/12/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature, 
probable wreck 

Size: Approximately 1 1 feet long 

Location: West Arm 

Analysis: This anomaly is strongly 
suggestive of a small boat 




Anomaly 81 

Recorded: 5/12/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 20 feet long 

Location: West Arm 

Analysis: This anomaly is 
suggestive of a boat 




Anomaly 82 

Recorded: 5/12/2012 

Identification: Irregularly-shaped 
feature 

Size: Approximately 4 feet long 

Location: West Arm 

Analysis: Unknown 




29 



Anomaly 84 

Recorded: 5/10/2012 

Identification: Feature 

Size: Approximately 10 feet long 

Location: West Arm 

Analysis: This anomaly appears 
partially buried 




Anomaly 85 

Recorded: 5/10/2012 

Identification: Long rectangular 
feature 

Size: Approximately 33 feet long 

Location: West Arm 

Analysis: This anomaly may be 
partially buried and it has some 
relief that casts a small shadow 



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Anomaly 86 

Recorded: 5/10/2012 

Identification: Possible wreck 

Size: Approximately 29 feet long 

Location: West Arm 

Analysis: The appearance of the 
anomaly suggests it may be a boat 




30 



Anomaly 87 

Recorded: 5/10/2012 
Identification: Rectangular feature 
Size: Approximately 18 feet long 
Location: West Arm 
Analysis: Unknown 




Anomaly 88 

Recorded: 5/10/2012 

Identification: Rectangular feature 

Size: Approximately 17 feet long 

Location: West Arm 

Analysis: This anomaly appears to 
be hollow 



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Anomaly 89 

Recorded: 5/10/2012 

Identification: Thin rectangular 
feature 

Size: Approximately 7 feet long 

Location: West Arm 

Analysis: Unknown 




31 



Anomaly 90 

Recorded: 5/12/2012 

Identification: Rectangular feature 

Size: Approximately 27 feet long 

Location: West Arm 

Analysis: Unknown, but it may be 
two-sided and sitting off the bottom 
like a V 




Anomaly 92 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Size: Approximately 16 feet long 

Location: Spring Park Bay 

Analysis: Unknown, but it casts a 
substantial shaddow 




Anomaly 93 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 24 feet long 

Location: East of Goose Island 

Analysis: This anomaly resembles 
a boat with a square bow and stern 




32 



Anomaly 94 

Recorded: 5/9/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 
on its side 

Size: Approximately 23 feet long 

Location: Cooks Bay 

Analysis: This feature resembles a 
long sleek motorboat on its side, 
probable wreck 




Anomaly 95 

Recorded: 5/9/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 13 feet long 

Location: Cooks Bay 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
small boat, probable wreck 




Anomaly 96 

Recorded: 5/9/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 33 feet long 

Location: Cooks Bay 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
boat, possibly overturned 



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33 



Anomaly 97 

Recorded: 5/7/2012 

Identification: Rectangular feature 

Size: Approximately 22 feet long 

Location: Halsted Bay 

Analysis: This feature could be a 
barge or part of a dock, probable 
wreck 




Anomaly 98 

Recorded: 5/7/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 1 1 feet long 

Location: Halsted Bay 

Analysis: This anomaly could be a 
boat 




Anomaly 99 

Recorded: 5/7/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 17 feet long 

Location: Halsted Bay 

Analysis: This anomaly could be an 
overturned boat, probable wreck 




34 



Anomaly 100 
Recorded: 5/7/2012 
Identification: Square feature 
Size: Approximately 23 feet long 
Location: Halsted Bay 
Analysis: Unknown 




Anomaly 101 
Recorded: 5/9/2012 
Identification: Rectangular feature 
Size: Approximately 14 feet long 
Location: Priests Bay 
Analysis: Unknown 




Anomaly 102 

Recorded: 5/9/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 15 Feet Long 

Location: Off Hardscrabble Point 

Analysis: This anomaly strongly 
suggests a small boat, probable 
wreck 




35 



Anomaly 103 

Recorded: 5/9/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 17 Feet Long 

Location: Off Hardscrabble Point 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
small boat 




Anomaly 104 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 33 feet long 

Location: Phelps Bay 

Analysis: This anomaly resembles 
a large motorboat 




Anomaly 105 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Square feature 

Size: Approximately 8 feet long 

Location: Northwest of Shady 
Island 

Analysis: Unknown 




36 



Anomaly 106 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 49 feet long 

Location: North of Shady Island 

Analysis: This anomaly resembles 
a boat; the size suggests the 50-foot 
long Governor Ramsey, the first 
steamer on Lake Minnetonka 
abandoned on the north shore of 
Shady Island; MHM postulates that 
she could have been towed to this 
position and sunk 

The second sonar image is different from the one above because of the different beam length and 

varying boat speeds. The bottom 

image shows a distinctive 'pointed 

end' at the top of the anomaly. It 

must be noted that the anomaly was 

swarming with fish and therefore 

some of the edges are blurred. 





The barge Mermaid, formerly VneGovernor Ramsey, was left to rot on the north shore of Shady Isle on Upper Lake 
Minnetonka. MHM hopes she was towed into the lake and sunk (Reserve Album 1 1 1 #41 , Minnesota Historical 

Society). 



37 





XXX//////^i\\K\M 



Sidewheeler Governor Ramsey was the first steamboat on 

Lake Minnetonka in 1860 (left). She also had the names 

Excelsior, Lady of the Lake, Minnetonka (above) and 

Mermaid (Reserve Album 1 1 1 #2 and #23, Minnesota 

Historical Society). 



Anomaly 107 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 10 feet long 

Location: East of Casco Point 

Analysis: This anomaly strongly 
suggests a small boat, probable 
wreck 




Anomaly 108 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 32 feet long 

Location: North of Locke Point 

Analysis: The acoustical signature 
of this anomaly is suggestive of a 
wreck 




38 



Anomaly 109 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 
Identification: Square feature 
Size: Approximately 23 feet long 
Location: Old Channel Bay 
Analysis: Unknown 




Anomaly 110 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 

Identification: Square feature 

Size: Approximately 12 feet by 12 
feet 

Location: East Upper Lake 

Analysis: Unknown, but this 
anomaly could be a fish house 




Anomaly 111 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 14 feet long 

Location: East Upper Lake 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
small boat 



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39 



Anomaly 112 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 
Identification: Rectangular feature 
Size: Approximately 3 by 17 feet 
Location: East Upper Lake 
Analysis: Unknown 




Anomaly 113 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 
Identification: Small feature 
Size: Approximately 7 feet long 
Location: East of Spray Island 
Analysis: Unknown 




Anomaly 114 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 19 feet long 

Location: East Upper Lake 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
small boat 




40 



Anomaly 115 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 13 feet long 

Location: East Upper Lake 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
small boat 




Anomaly 116 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 
Identification: Square feature 
Size: Approximately 3-4 feet long 
Location: East Upper Lake 
Analysis: Unknown 




Anomaly 117 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 

Identification: Feature 

Size: Unknown 

Location: East Upper Lake 

Analysis: Unknown, but the 
anomaly casts a substantial 
acoustical shadow, indicating it 
stands off the bottom 




41 



Anomaly 118 
Recorded: 5/9/2012 



Identification: 

canoe 



Possible dugout 



Size: Approximately 7 feet long 

Location: West Upper Lake 

Analysis: This anomaly strongly 
suggests a dugout canoe similar to 
one pulled from Lake Minnetonka in 
1934, probable wreck 




This Native American, probably Dakota, 

dugout canoe was dragged from the 
North Arm of Upper Lake Minnetonka in 
1934. MHM is hopeful that Anomaly 1 18 

is a better preserved version of the 

canoe is this image. The location of the 

rare watercraft shown in this photograph 

is unknown (HE5.19p17, Minnesota 

Historical Society). 




Anomaly 119 

Recorded: 5/12/2012 

Identification: Feature 

Size: Approximately 8 feet long 

Location: Northwest of Wawatasso 
Island 

Analysis: Unknown, but it casts a 
substantial acoustical shadow 




42 



Anomaly 120 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 9 feet long 

Location: South Upper Lake 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
small boat 




Anomaly 121 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 33 feet long 

Location: East of Crane Island 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
good sized boat 



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Anomaly 122 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 14 feet long 

Location: East of Crane Island 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
small boat 




43 



Anomaly 123 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 9 feet long 

Location: South of Crane Island 

Analysis: This anomaly suggests a 
possible runabout 




Anomaly 124 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 29 feet long 

Location: Southwest of Crane 
Island 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
good sized boat 




Anomaly 125 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 36 feet long 

Location: North of Eagle Island 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
good sized boat 




44 



Anomaly 126 

Recorded: 5/14/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 10 feet long 

Location: Southeast of Wawatasso 
Island 

Analysis: This anomaly suggests a 
small boat with a narrow beam 




Anomaly 127 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 13 feet long 

Location: Southwest of Wawatasso 
Island 

Analysis: This anomaly suggests a 
small boat 




Anomaly 128 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 10 feet long 

Location: Southeast of Wawatasso 
Island 

Analysis: This anomaly may be a 
small boat 



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45 



Anomaly 129 

Recorded: 5/16/2012 

Identification: Boat-shaped feature 

Size: Approximately 17 feet long 

Location: Southeast of Wawatasso 
Island 

Analysis: This anomaly suggest a 
boat with a wide beam 




46 



Recommendations 

Maritime Heritage Minnesota has developed several specific suggestions for future 
maritime historical and nautical archaeological work in both Upper and Lower Lake 
Minnetonka. Listed below are the sites and anomalies in an MHM-prioritized list from 
the LMS-1 and LMS-2 Projects in ascending order. MHM determined the list from an 
analysis of sites and anomalies that were deemed the most historically and 
archaeologically significant, that could answer the most archaeological and historical 
questions, and those that may be in danger. Images of the Lower Lake and Crystal Bay 
anomalies can be found in MHM's Lake Minnetonka Survey 1 Report. As mentioned 
above, the numbering system from the LMS-1 Project was continued with the LMS-2 
Project, with the anomalies numbered from 1-129. The anomalies numbered 1-9 are in 
the Upper Lake's Crystal Bay, the anomalies numbered 10-75 are in the Lower Lake, 
and the anomalies numbered 76-129 are in the remaining sections of the Upper Lake. 

• 1. Anomaly 118, Upper Lake. The original inhabitants of the Lake Minnetonka 
area were aboriginal bands of the Iowa, Cheyenne, and then the Mdewakanton 
Dakota. The Lake Minnetonka area was a major hunting ground for the Dakota, a 
place for planting crops and fishing, and a burial ground, using dugout and bark 
canoes for lake travel (Hasse 1976, 2, 5; Heffelfinger 1976, 6). If Anomaly 118 is 
a dugout canoe, it will be one of the rarest watercraft in Minnesota. MHM could 
only locate 4 historic/archaeological tribal dugouts within the state, housed at the 
Minnesota Historical Society (Lake Auburn context), Bloomington Historical 
Society (Minnesota River context), the McLeod County Historical Society, and 
the George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum and Cultural Center of the Lac du 
Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. MHM contends this anomaly 
deserves priority attention simply because it may be a dugout canoe and MHM's 
questions about the anomaly could be answered rather quickly since it lies in 
relatively shallow water. If this identification is confirmed, the historical scope of 
wrecks in Lake Minnetonka will include: a Dakota watercraft, sidewheel, 
sternwheel, and propeller steamers, a steam tug, a steam dredge, a launch, a 
probable fast runabout, probable rowboats and sailboats, and a mid-20 th Century 
pontoon boat. 

• 2. Anomaly 106, Upper Lake. Anomaly 106 is a priority because it is easily 
accessible in relatively shallow water, it is close to Shady Island, and is near the 
size of the Governor Ramsey/Excelsior/Lady of the Lake/Minnetonka/Mermaid. 
MHM's questions about this anomaly could be answered quickly. 

• 3. St. Albans Bay Wreck (21-HE0400), Lower Lake. MHM is positive that the 
St. Albans Bay Wreck is a dredge boat; the sonar signature of the wreck is 
conclusive. However, documenting this wreck is a priority because of the fact that 
she is a dredge. The other identified wrecks in Lake Minnetonka represent public 
transportation (Streetcar Boats [whose construction details are known] and 
Minneapolis), an excursion boat (George/Excelsior), and a tug whose 
construction plans exist (Hercules). The St. Albans Bay Wreck represents a new 
Lake Minnetonka vessel type and therefore is a priority for documentation and 
wreck condition assessment. 



47 



4. Wayzata Bay Wreck (21-HE0401), Lower Lake. Determining the exact hull 
shape of the Wayzata Bay Wreck may allow MHM to determine her function and 
perhaps identify her; her large size limits the number of candidates. As with 
Wreck 1, there are no reports of a large vessel sinking or being scuttled in 
Wayzata Bay. 

5. Wreck 1 (21-HE0404), Lower Lake. The interesting sonar signature of Wreck 
1 makes her a priority for further research. She really looks like a steam or 
gasoline launch but she could also be a large sailboat. Determining her type and 
actual size would pare down the possibilities in identifying her, particularly since 
- as with the Wayzata Bay Wreck - no historical accounts exist of a boat of this 
size sinking at her current location. 

6. Anomaly 54, Lower Lake. MHM is confidant that Anomaly 54 is a wreck and 
prioritizing her investigation will assist in determining her type and age - and 
possibly her identity. 

7. Spring Park Bay Wreck (Anomaly 91), Anomaly 94, Upper Lake. While 
MHM is positive the Spring Park Bay Wreck is a sunken vessel, diving on her 
may answer the question as to her age - if she has been on the lake bottom for 
50 year she qualifies as a nautical archaeological site. Anomaly 94 may or may 
not be a motorboat lying on her side, but diving on the anomaly will answer this 
question. If Anomaly 91 is a runabout and Anomaly 94 is a motorboat, these 
wrecks would be similar types, both are in shallow water, and investigating them 
would allow MHM to answer questions about their nature quickly and easily. 

8. Anomalies 1, 3, 4, Upper Lake. The sailing boat Coquette/Eugene Mehl was 
sunk in Crystal Bay behind the Hotel Lafayette sometime around 1884 (McGinnis 
2010, 46). The size of Anomaly 4 is suggestive of the sailboat but Anomalies 1 
and 3 may be her as well. The distinct nature of the acoustical signatures of 
these anomalies make them a priority for investigation by MHM. 

9. Anomaly 63, Lower Lake. MHM is moderately confidant that Anomaly 63 is a 
sunken sailboat with a railing around her bow. However, her age cannot be 
determined and therefore, her status as an archaeological site cannot be settled. 

10. Anomalies 10, 27, 28, 33, 95, 99, 102, Lower and Upper Lakes. Anomalies 
10, 28, and 99 appear to be overturned boats with their keels evident. The sonar 
signature of Anomalies 27 and 95 are suggestive of sailboats with their single 
mast still standing upright. Anomaly 102 strongly suggests a boat with cockpits or 
divided compartments. The sonar image of Anomaly 33 suggests a wreck as 
well. These anomalies are of high priority. A sloop owned by George A. Brackett 
sank in 60 feet of water in 1894 north of Big Island; one of these anomalies - 
with the exception of Anomalies 95, 99, and 102 that are in the Upper Lake - 
may be that sloop. The best candidate for this vessel is Anomaly 28 due to her 
proximity to the Big Island, as it was reported that one of the vessel's occupants 
was 600 feet from the island (McGinnis 279-280), and Anomaly 28 lies nearly in 
the same depth of water. Anomaly 10 may be the sloop but she is in considerably 
shallower water than the reported sinking, as is Anomaly 33. Anomaly 27 is 



48 



probably a sailing boat, although her distance from Big Island indicates she may 
not be the Brackett sloop although she lies in the correct water depth. All six of 
these anomalies deserve priority investigation due to their distinct acoustical 
signatures. Further Anomalies 95, 99, and 102 are relatively close to top priority 
Anomaly 118 and all are located in under 30 feet of water; the initial investigation 
of these anomalies could be scheduled together and completed somewhat 
quickly. 

11. Anomalies 12, 17, 80, 107, Lower and Upper Lakes. These four anomalies 
appear to be small boats and Anomaly 17 is particularly interesting because of 
the details evident in the sonar image. The large number of anomalies that may 
be small boats is historically and archaeologically interesting for MHM, providing 
a greater number of locally-built watercraft to study - and to compare them with 
the Moore and Ramaley boat designs out of Wayzata. 

12. Anomalies 22, 87, Lower and Upper Lakes. The sonar images of 
Anomalies 22 and 87 suggest a hollowed-out log - dug out canoes - but they 
may well be a discarded piling or other long object. Investigating these anomalies 
would answer these questions. 

13. Anomalies 21, 24, 29, 31, 39, 43, 79, 93, 96, 103, 104, 111, 114, 115, 121, 
126, 129, Lower and Upper Lakes. This series of anomalies resemble small 
boats, some overturned, but unlike Anomalies 10, 12, 17, 27, 28, 33, 80, 95, 99, 
102, and 107 their sonar signatures are not distinct. MHM would like to 
investigate these objects to determine their nature if they are small boats, to 
compare with local Royal Moore and Ramaley boat designs. 

14. Anomalies 15, 97, Lower and Upper Lakes. Anomalies 15 and 97 deserve 
attention because of their unique acoustical signatures that suggest substantial 
objects, possibly a barge, a dredge, or a flatboat. 

15. Anomalies 5, 50, 86, 108, 122, 123, 124, Lower and Upper Lakes. These 
anomalies appear as vague images but they are strikingly similar to the first 
image produced by MHM of the Wayzata Bay Wreck, and their shapes suggest 
sunken vessels. 

16. Anomalies 8, 13, 14, 45, 51, 56, 58, 66, 77, 81, 98, 120, 125, 127, 128, 
Lower and Upper Lakes. In general, these anomalies are simply 'shaped like 
boats' - they may be boats or parts of boats, or they may be other types of debris 
that was dumped to the bottom of the lake, or they may be geological features. 
Diving on these anomalies to determine if they are wrecks will answer these 
questions. 

17. Minneapolis (21-HE0403), Lower Lake. While the appearance during her 
working life and the history of the sidewheeler Minneapolis is well known, the 
archaeology of the wreck is a challenge. The first sonar images of the site 
recorded in 1996 determined that the boat broke up during the wrecking process 
and spread out over a large area, with at least one of the sidewheels separated 
from the wreck (Hall, Birk, and Newell 1997, 58). MHM's sonar images are 



49 



difficult to interpret due to the depth of the wreck but there is no doubt that the 
Minneapolis site is interesting, she is the only sidewheeler wreck known to exist 
in Lake Minnetonka, and warrants a detailed examination. 

18. George/Excelsior (21-HE0399), Lower Lake. As with Minneapolis, the 
history of sternwheeler George/Excelsior is known but the archaeology of the 
wreck is important because she is the only known sternwheeler wreck so far 
identified in Lake Minnetonka. There are no known plans of the vessel and a 
comparison of her construction to the Mississippi River sternwheeler wreck Andy 
Gibson would be interesting. 

19. Hercules (21-HE0398), Como (21-HE0397), Hopkins/Minnetonka (21- 
HE0396), White Bear (21 -HE0281), Lower Lake. MHM's plans for the TCRT tug 
wreck Hercules and the Streetcar Boat wrecks Como, Hopkins/Minnetonka, and 
White Bear lie in the realm of wreck condition assessments, monitoring, and 
public education due to the popularity of these sites with recreational divers. 
Beyond intentional criminal damage from looting, divers will locate the wrecks by 
snagging anchors on the hulls and causing damage. MHM does not seek to limit 
sport diving on the wrecks, but there are concerns for their safety due to 
intentional and unintentional acts. Periodic assessments of the wrecks that result 
in site form updates to the OSA will track any changes to the wrecks over time 
and if extensive damage to these wrecks - or any others - occurs, alleviation of 
the causes of the damage will be pursued at that time. 

20. Anomaly 26, Lower Lake. The interesting signature of Anomaly 26, whether 
it is the sunken steamboat Rush or something else, is a question MHM would like 
to answer. If Anomaly 26 is the Rush, this site will provide interesting data 
because of that vessel's unique stern sidewheel design. 

21. West Arm Pontoon Boat Wreck, Anomaly 83, Upper Lake. The most 
important questions to answer concerning this wreck are when she sank and if 
possible, where she was manufactured. If this pontoon boat wreck is a Weeres 
vessel from the 1950s or 1960s, she would be a significant piece of Minnesota's 
nautical archaeological history. 

22. Anomalies 2, 7, Lower Lake. Anomaly 2 could be part a pontoon or another 
object entirely, while the acoustical shadow Anomaly 7 casts looks like a big 
chair, possibly an old life guard stand or a dive platform. The interesting sonar 
signatures of these two anomalies make them important, but not a priority. 

An anchored dive plaftorm near the 
Excelsior Commons with Gideon Bay in 
the background in 1905 (MH5.1Lp19, by- 
Sweet, Minnesota Historical Society). 




50 



23. Anomalies 19, 37, 40, 47, 85, 88, 90, 92, 101, Lower and Upper Lake. This 
group of rectangular sonar images are not distinct enough to make them priority 
targets, but their investigation will answer the question of their natures. 

24. Remaining 54 Anomalies, Lower and Upper Lake. The remaining 54 
anomalies - 40 in the Lower Lake and 14 in the Upper Lake - would be checked 
out when diving on other anomalies nearby or when the other anomalies have 
been completed. They are a low priority for MHM. 



51 



Conclusion 

In order to investigate Lake Minnetonka's sites and anomalies MHM will design projects 
to maximize data retrieval through the utilization of interested and dedicated volunteer 
divers. MHM staff, both qualified and licensed underwater archaeologists and divers, 
will instruct all volunteers on the proper procedures for wreck assessment, 
documentation, preservation, conservation, and dive safety. Several documentation 
tools will be used for this work including digital still photography, digital video, hands-on 
measurements, measured drawings, and triangulation - all dependent on the site being 
investigated. By including interested, ethical, and responsible volunteers in our projects, 
MHM will educate a wider audience in the proper treatment of all Minnesota's finite 
underwater and nautical cultural resources - wrecks, maritime infrastructure, artifact 
clusters, and lone artifacts that can be found on the bottom of our lakes, rivers, and 
streams throughout the state. 

Maritime Heritage Minnesota's completion of the LMS-2 Project means that Lake 
Minnetonka is the first body of water within the state that has been completely surveyed 
using remote sensing archaeological techniques. MHM has compiled a comprehensive 
list of priority targets on the bottom of Lake Minnetonka for nautical and underwater 
archaeological assessment and documentation. The list of anomalies set for 
investigation will undergo a basic Phase I documentation by MHM using SCUBA. This 
process will determine the nature of the anomalies - whether they are wreck sites, other 
types of sites, whether they qualify as archaeological sites, or if they are naturally 
occurring features. From this work, MHM will produce an inventory of newly identified 
Lake Minnetonka archaeological sites, their basic components, vital statistics, and site 
forms will be prepared if appropriate. This future work advocated by MHM is in keeping 
with the recommendations submitted to the SHPO in 1997 concerning the historical 
significance of Lake Minnetonka's wrecks - those known and unknown. It was 
determined that "each of the individual vessels [Como, George/Excelsior, Hercules, 
Hopkins/Minnetonka, Minneapolis, White Bear] are potentially eligible for nomination to 
the National Register of Historic Places under criteria A, C, and D. As a group, these 
vessels... form a strong and important submerged cultural resource. The historic 
shipwrecks in Lake Minnetonka may be the single most well-preserved group of 
excursion vessels in the United States" (Hall, Birk, and Newell 1997, 62). Beyond the 
excursion vessel classification, MHM has already identified two new types of vessels 
that expand the base of historic wrecks in Lake Minnetonka - a dredge boat and a 
gasoline or steam launch - and the function of the tug Hercules cannot be overlooked 
as well. Further, with the addition of the possible dugout canoe, motor runabout, and a 
possibly early pontoon boat, the types of sites that exist in Lake Minnetonka are diverse, 
archaeologically and historical significant, and worthy of great attention. The data 
collected during MHM's LMS-1 and LMS-2 Projects sets the groundwork to develop a 
National Historic Shipwreck District (NHSD) nomination for Lake Minnetonka - a first for 
the State of Minnesota - and if appropriate, a State Underwater Archaeological Park. 



52 



References 

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Minnetonka. Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society: Excelsior, MN, 46-47. 

Ellis, Samuel E. 1905. Souvenir and Story of the Most Popular Summer Resort in the 
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Fitch, Lt. Commander La Roy. 1864. Fitch to Rear Admiral David D. Porter, 8 
September, on board USS Moose, Evansville, IN. In the Official Records of the 
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Hall, Wes, Douglas Birk, and Sam Newell. 1997. Shipwrecks of Minnesota's Inland 
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Hasse, Arlo. 1976. Legacy of the Native American in Picturesque Minnetonka. 
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Heffelfinger, Ruth. 1976. Discovery and Early Settlement of Picturesque Lake 
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Lake Minnetonka Tourist. 1876, June. 

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November, on board flagship USS Black Hawk, Mound City, IL. In the Official 
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. 1864b. Lee to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, 3 December, on board 

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. 1865a. Lee to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, 1 March, on board flagship 

USS Black Hawk, Mound City, IL. In the Official Records of the Union and 
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. 1865b. Lee to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, 15 April, on board flagship 

USS Black Hawk, Mound City, IL. In the Official Records of the Union and 
Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series 1, Vol. 27. Government 
Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1917. 

. 1865c. Lee to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, 1 May, on board flagship 

USS Black Hawk, Mound City, IL. In the Official Records of the Union and 



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Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series 1, Vol. 27. Government 
Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1917. 

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McGinnis, Scott. 2010. A Directory of Old Boats. Scott D. McGinnis: Chaska, MN. 

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Minnetonka Record. 1888, 18 August; 1889, June 8; 1911a, 7 April; 1911b, 14 April; 
1911c, 21 April; 1912, 16 August. 

Mowry, H. W. 1884. Guide and Directory of Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota. Lake 
Minnetonka Printing Company: Excelsior, MN. 

Northwestern Tourist. 1883a, 7 July; 1883b, 21 July; 1886, 1 January; 1888, 8 
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Olson, Russell L. 1976. The Electric Railways of Minnesota. Minnesota Transportation 
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Photograph Album 219. 1886. Souvenir of Minnesota: Minnetonka Series. St. Paul Book 
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Porter, Rear Admiral David D. 1864. Porter to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, 21 
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Weeres Pontoons. 2012. About Weeres. Weeres Pontoons Web Site: 
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